Barnaby Joyce opens door for CQ fair go jobs win
A SENATE inquiry could see Canberra decentralise its Government bodies across Australia, bringing skilled, high-paid jobs to rural centres.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has called on regional centres to enter their bids as to why they are suited to accommodate a full-range of public service departments.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry fully backs the inquiry, which will assess the operation, effectiveness and consequences of relocating corporate Commonwealth entities.
She welcomed the employment opportunities and though it's early days, said the move had "every chance of actually happening".
She said besides saving the government millions in affordable housing, Central Queensland also offered workers a "better work and family lifestyle".
"It's a way to get jobs back into the region," Ms Landry said.
"Things have become very city centric and I think this is a great prospect and really do urge the councils to get on board to make suggestions to what organisations they would like to see in the region."
Ms Landry believes agricultural departments would be best suited to Central Queensland given its strong cattle and grain sectors.
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Mr Joyce said the government intends to move the Rural Industries RDC to Wagga Wagga, which would save about $1.2 million per year, including $266,000 in rent.
He said the inquiry would specifically examine the relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Armidale; in particular its ability to function from the NSW Northern Tablelands and consequences of the move.
"This inquiry will also examine how decentralised entities will perform their functions operating outside of a major city, or the nation's capital," Mr Joyce said.
The Deputy PM said now was the time for rural Australia to speak up or miss out.
"Every Council, Chamber of Commerce, CWA and community association in every regional town is invited to make a submission to this inquiry, to tell Canberra and the Labor Party, why regional Australia deserves Commonwealth agencies bringing well-paid, skilled jobs to your area," he said.
Ms Landry said having the right people on the ground would also help to better lobby for funds.